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Headphones fast and slow

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by charlesc, Sep 13, 2014.
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  1. Grave
    I agree that much can be attributed to FR but not everything.
    Subjectively I think a lot of people view the Sennheiser HD 580/600's as sounding perfectly neutral if you have ever tried those. 
  2. bigshot
    That youtube video is by someone a heck of a lot more knowledgeable than I am. And even more knowledgeable than you.
    No difference.
    Do you even want to know? Because if you are incapable of learning, I am going to talk over your head to the lurkers who are.
  3. bigshot
    I have 590s and those are good, but there is a mid bass hump and the midrange is a bit recessed.
  4. money4me247 Contributor
    lol. I never claimed to be an expert in this area like you appear to do so. You can say what you want, but there is only one person here with belligerent, condescending, close-minded attitude... 
    You are quoting information about loud speaker sound performance and applying it out of context. The information is valuable, but your interpretation of the information is flawed.
    You appear to hold the belief that frequency response is the only thing that matters when it comes to measuring the sonic performance of headphones. That is simply not true. I don't think there is any expert in this field who would agree with that attitude. The frequency response is ONE measurement of the sonic properties of headphones, but it is not the the sole sum measurement of the sound. Also, frequency response measurements have inherent limitations as I explained. 
    If you did that simple experiment with your open headphones, you will find that the sound can be affected by physical design of headphones & that you can definitely hear changes in sound stage with that simple test. I don't see a sound stage line in the frequency response curve. I would imagine that it is not such an inconceivable idea that there are sonic properties of headphones that are not reflected in a frequency response curve. There are also a lot of other metrics that professionals use to measure headphone performance such as total harmonic distortion, square wave response, isolation, and impulse responses.
    The factual information that you are providing is valuable, but the conclusions that you are reaching is flawed and limited. If you could please limit your responses to the actual content of the posts rather than personal attacks, that would be greatly appreciated.
    edit: I don't think you have specifically replied to any of the points I brought up and continuing to quote the youtube video out of context in a way that does not specifically responds to my posts or making personal attacks is not very helpful to anyone.
  5. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Subjectively, yes. But even to some of the owners, myself included, a little bit "recessed" (as they like to say in this forum) in the midrange but it's easy to fix with software EQ (there's a wide valley in the midrange graph), but no need to take it up to the exact same average dB level (note that some graphs aren't taken with an actual, meaty skull - not even with a ballistic dummy head - in place around the mic to simulate an ear drum's placement). If you did, and depending on what paremeters are tuned to do what, the midrange can easily sound overbearing and "shouty" and also somewhat "nasal." There's also a sharp, narrow downward spike somewhere in the treble region but again no need to take it up to 0dB - the too narrow Q factor tends to result in weird treble notes, though not immediately noticeable.
    Basically, your measurement conditions need to be the same as actual listening conditions for the measurements to be absolutely accurate. It's easy enough to do on a speaker system with the mic taped to the listening chair's headrest (including the front seats of a car, as in car audio Audyssey tuning), and the only factor remaining is whether the listener's ears have a flat response (or if he won't spend on a $2,000 EQ hearing aid, take the measurements from the ENT/Audiologist and take that into account when EQ-ing). With headphones, hanging a mic between the drivers aren't the same as wearing the headphone, since earpads don't even factor in (material density, compression) plus the relative distance of the driver to the ear canal opening or mic.
  6. bigshot
    I'm not an expert. I'm just the one that took the time to research and had the open mind to find out from experts. You just totally dismissed the video by a professional sound engineer who has hosted seminars at the AES. Am I going to assume that you are even interested in finding out from experts? Hmmmm.... still thinking. Get back to me when you've made the effort to do your homework.
    Just to let you know. You've graduated to the ranks of the elite that I only read the first paragraph. Make it worth my time to go further and I will. That first paragraph counts.
  7. money4me247 Contributor
    lol another personal attack & dismissive attitude. Okay, I'll keep it short. You are misapplying the information in that video. It is valid information, but your interpretation of the information is incorrect. Your belief that frequency response is the only important measurement for headphones is a flawed conclusion. The belief that you can simply EQ one pair of headphones into another is incorrect. You may have read the information, but you do not properly understand it. This is apparent from the fact that your responses have all been personal attacks or using the same quotes out of context, and you have never directly addressed a single one of my points.
    If you read my entire postings, you will see that everything I state is pretty reasonable. But it does not seem like you care to be reasonable and prefer resorting to personal attacks to imply your own superiority. That is unfortunate.
    For someone that claims to want to learn more and be so scientifically-minded, it is interesting that you simply tune out any information that is contradictory to your personal beliefs, and prefer to resort to personal attacks.
  8. Baxide
    I remember an interesting test that we did at a previous place of work. We used a dummy head with a range of headphones fitted on it and a stereo microphone to measure the sound. A 27 band graphic equalizer was then used to even out the frequency response of the sound picked up by the mic. Then we tried each headphone with some music and the graphic equalizer in the setting that gave a flat frequency response. Did the equalized headphones sound the smae? Far from it.
    One of the conclusions that I came to from that experiment is that a flat frequency response is not going to guarantee a similar sounding reproduction.
  9. money4me247 Contributor
    On the original topic of decay & headphone speed, the scientific measurement for that would be cumulative spectral decay plots aka waterfall plots. There are differences in impulse response at different frequencies for different headphones. So it obviously does exist and is measurable. How perceivable the sonic differences are can be debated. But to dismiss decay to simply frequency response imbalances or just pre-recorded in the source would be incorrect.
    Tyll explains it well here: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/measurement-and-audibility-headphone-break-page-2
    Though the main topic he is discussing headphone break-in.
    Other great explanations:
  10. bigshot
    Not if you were brave enough to actually cite a figure for the time alteration.
  11. bigshot
    Try again.
  12. money4me247 Contributor
    The existence of this phenomena is not a myth regardless of you want to argue it. The differences of decay in sonic performance between audio equipment based on Cumulative Spectral Decay measurements is backed by scientific evidence and is well-established. This information is widely available and accepted. I don't think you will find many people educated in this field holding your position.
    The fact is that decay differences does exists as a measurable property of sound. Considering the vast amount of information out there about this, I am very surprised by your ignorance. So if you want to continue to pretend like decay = frequency response imbalance or whatever random other conjecture you came up with and hid the fact that most of the things you are saying are actually personal opinions, not facts, by continuing to quote sources out of context... 
    ...I can go back through things point by point with you, but seeing how you failed to actually respond to my points directly, I think this is turning into a futile exercise.
    Sure, you can go around through different forums with your belligerent attitude and spouting your opinions as facts, but from our short conversation, I am finding it very hard to take you seriously as you have a very close-minded attitude as well as a tendency to filter information out of context to support your own personal beliefs and dismiss everything else without even taking the time to read it. You are not approaching this with an open mind at all. A lot of your beliefs and conclusions are simply grossly incorrect. You are quoting other sources that are independently valid, but then not actually applying that information in the correct context. All these personal attack oriented comments are not helping your cause either, because if an argument is based on facts, there is no need to resort to such tactics.
    kn19h7 likes this.
  13. money4me247 Contributor
    Dude... this is common knowledge that there is more to sound than just frequency response... Frequency response is simply ONE measurement of sonic properties.
  14. Roly1650
    The scientific data supporting, or not, your position have been posted several pages back. The only one who picked up on them was bigshot and he probably knew the answer anyway. Everyone else, including you, has either ignored them, (true in your case), or chosen to dismiss them as speculative or vague, both expressions being laughable considering no other real world data has been presented to either confirm or refute them.

    So in light of the only scientific evidence we have so far, it would appear that human hearing is incapable of discerning any audible effect due to the resonances presented in the average CSD, the timebase isn't long enough by a goodly margin. The CSD's shown as examples in the links you provided don't contradict that position either, if anything they support it.

    If I was a loudspeaker or headphone designer would I run CSD's? Yes sure I would, but they would be only one of many measurements I'd make. But to inflate their importance and say they prove something is a reach, with the current knowledge we have. It should also be remembered, in the case of headphones at least, CSD's are anything but consistently repeatable. If the above is true, then any perception of speed or not in a headphone or speaker is due to a frequency response imbalance, all things being equal.

    I don't want to put words in his mouth and I'm sure he won't hesitate to correct me if I'm wrong, but it is I think, what bigshot has been trying to get across to you.
  15. money4me247 Contributor
    Okay, your point is well articulated. I just like to read the source that states that the variations in CSD plots in headphones is inaudible.
    You state that temporal masking makes sonic changes underneath 0.2 seconds inaudible. However, this study clearly demonstrates that decay underneath 0.2 s is still audible using the Sennheiser HD590. http://www.akustinenseura.fi/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/goldberg.pdf
    In addition, all these audiophile websites about headphones feel like impulse response and cumulative spectral decay plots are worth measuring.
    When evaluating sonic performance, these researchers thought that impulse response time was worth investigating: https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/ast/25/4/25_4_276/_pdf
    I am totally chill with frequency response imbalances having an effect on decay, and I agree that it is important not to overstate or understate the importance of decay. However, I think it is misleading to state that differences in decay does not exist and cannot be perceived in light of this data.
    swspiers likes this.
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